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This week, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is proud to celebrate with couples around the state as their love finally receives the recognition it deserves when they say “I do.”

Early in the campaign, our union made a commitment to winning marriage equality.  We put our beliefs in action and made more than 250 hours of phone calls to talk with voters about valuing love and commitment.  We sent mail to our members urging them to vote to approve R74 and gave our support to Equality Washington in any way we could.

We are all celebrating a victory for love and equality this week.  Whether we were among those lined up at midnight for marriage licenses, whether we’re celebrating our wedding day at Seattle City Hall, or whether we’re watching the news coverage and sharing in newlyweds’ joy and tears, we are proud to be part of the movement for a more just and equal society.

Marcy Johnsen was at the courthouse with her soon-to-be-wife Joey to get her marriage license on Wednesday night.  She shares her story:

“It was amazing! The King County office opened for licenses at 12:01am and the crowd roared!

I did not see Pam and Claudia because they were in the first group to go in and Joey and I for some odd reason waited to go down until later.  No matter whether you were in line at 7pm or 10pm, the crowd was electric and we all made new friends as we waited in line the 5-6 hours it took to wind through the line to get our licenses.
I think Pam & Claudia were within the first ten couples and we were number 187 out of 240.

Pete E Peterson and her partner Jane have been together 35 years and were the first to get their license; another couple there has been together 43 years.  Two young couples in line near us have been together 4 and 7 years.  We shared stories of how things were for us in the 60’s and for them in the 2000’s.  A lot has changed- some other things will  take more time and ‘getting used to’.  This day was monumental for us all.

King County Executive Dow Constantine meandered through the crowd until the midnight magic hour when the doors opened to begin processing marriage license requests.  Dow signed the first several license applications himself, and then was stationed  toward the exit to sign official, commemorative licenses, so he was still there at 4am when we were ready to leave with our license in hand.

It was an amazing day in the history of equality for LGBTQ people and I am so proud of our Union SEIU Healthcare 1199NW for standing up for social and economic justice.  Thank you for encouraging me and others to step up and out in the path to justice, and thank you all so much for your hard work and support in getting the Marriage Equality bill passed and Referendum 74 approved.

So now the the wedding bells are ringing!  I know Pam and Claudia and Robin and Dani are getting married this weekend; Allen and Tim are letting married next weekend.  Our date has yet to be planned but we will likely sneak off to the courthouse this month and then plan a big celebration later and you all will be invited to PARTY!

In love and solidarity,  Marcy”

Congratulations and best wishes to all of the couples who make the leap this weekend.  Among them will be Pam and Claudia, whose story is highlighted in the video below.

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